Oldham CCG and TRUSTECH spearhead healthcare challenge.
Ambulance service switches to bikes
NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (Oldham CCG) is ahead of all CCGs in the innovation adoption lifecycle. At the forefront of discovering new and better ways of working, it boasts an enviable history of introducing new technologies and services to improve patient care.
“The adoption of new innovations that have a positive impact on patients’ health, whilst remaining cost effective, are key to the longevity, viability, and ultimately the success of our services. Innovation is high on our agenda, and to ensure we exploit all angles, we engaged a specialist organisation to keep us on track and explore new avenues,” explains Denis Gizzi, managing director at Oldham CCG.
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NHS innovation experts, TRUSTECH, provide an indispensable and enviable link between NHS organisations and industry; Oldham CCG was confident that its multidisciplinary team would reveal new ideas that would otherwise have been off the CCG’s radar. “TRUSTECH is at the centre of all facets of healthcare innovation; it works exclusively in this area, and knows it inside out. They devised, managed and delivered an exciting and forward-thinking programme,” recalls Denis.
A Dragon’s Den style initiative to identify and evaluate innovations was proposed; a process that had not yet been transferred to the sector as Denis confirms, “Dragons’ Den is a well-known format in the commercial world, popularised by television. However, until this point, a CCG had never embraced it before, so the buzz surrounding this initiative was phenomenal.”
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South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has launched its new cycle to work scheme with Green Commute Initiative (GCI). Launched last week, the scheme aims to give SCAS employees the chance to switch to a more sustainable form of transport for their commute to work.
SCAS serves a population of over 7 million and is the first ambulance trust to be rated ‘good’ by Care Quality Commission. It employs over 3,300 staff across 45 sites (including 43 ambulance stations). With a large workforce, employee health and wellbeing remains a Trust priority. The Trust’s Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Team continually develop the support, benefits and discounts available to staff to enable a positive and healthy workplace culture.
Whilst the Trust has used a cycle to work scheme previously, it was felt that Green Commute Initiative had something different to offer employees. The Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Champion, Linda Jones, said, “As a not for profit organisation, Green Commute Initiative is aligned to our corporate values and offers flexible options for our staff.” The absence of a £1,000 spending cap, no scheme exit fees and variable salary sacrifice periods, means that employees will gain the maximum possible savings. SCAS was also impressed by GCI’s commitment to independent bike shops by offering the lowest commission rates in the industry; 7.5% versus the industry average of 12.5%.
Rob Howes, Director of Green Commute Initiative said, “We are delighted to have SCAS on board with GCI. The Trust joins a growing list of public sector organisations realising there are alternatives to the traditional cycle to work schemes out there. GCI prides itself on having the best offering in the market place. SCAS plays an important part in all of our lives and we hope to make SCAS employees lives by making their commutes to work that little bit easier and healthier.”
Green Commute Initiative is a Social Enterprise with a vision to get commuters out of cars and onto any kind of bike, with the dual purpose of improving both the individual’s health and wellbeing, as well as reducing the environmental impact of pollution and congestion from cars. The Green Commute Initiative is FCA authorised and regulated and was the first cycle-to-work scheme in the UK to offer bikes over £1,000.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is the ambulance service for the counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. It is a foundation trust of the National Health Service and one of ten NHS ambulance trusts in England.